Scary moments in Rangers history: Gordie Howe demolishes Lou Fontinato

Gordie Howe is a hero to hockey fans and the idol of its greatest player, Wayne Gretzky. When Howe was 15 years old, he attended a New York Rangers training camp and unfortunately failed to impress. Sadly, the rest is history as he went to Detroit and led them to 4 Stanley Cups.

His first in 1950 came at the expense of the Rangers…go figure.

Fontinato and Howe separated
Fontinato and Howe separated

Gordie Howe was a tough SOB

Howe was one of the greatest all around players the game has ever seen. He could score, pass and beat the living hell out of you. Matter of fact, if you score a goal, get an assist, and get into a fight it is known as the “Gordie Howe Hat-Trick”. Pretty cool.

So just how tough was Gordie? Well one of the meanest Rangers to ever pull the Broadway Blue over his head, Lou Fontinato could tell you as he learned the hard way.

Scary moment in Rangers history

Back in 1959, Eddie Shack of the Rangers was running around and riling the Wings up. Howe had enough and gave Eddie an elbow that caused 3 stitches. This led to Fontinato giving Howe a warning.

As per the site Third String Goalie:

Ouch! Fontinato after Howe beating
Ouch! Fontinato after Howe beating

When later in the game Shack was in a scrap with Detroit’s Red Kelly, Howe joined the fight to help out his teammate Kelly and put Shack in his place when Fontinato came looking for him. Fontinato wasted no time in unleashing a fury of punches on Howe. Unfortunately for Fontinato, Howe remained conscious and was now incensed. He grabbed Fontinato’s sweater with one hand and fired back repeatedly with the other. Howe connected with his first punch, which stopped Fontinato in his tracks. Howe’s arm was described as “working like a piston” and the sound of his fist hitting Fontinato face again and again in rapid fire made a permanent impression on those who heard it – as well as Fontinato’s face – with most descriptions of the blows comparing it to the sound of an axe chopping wood.

When it was all said and done, Fontinato’s nose moved to another zip code and Howe dislocated his finger from bashing poor old Lou so hard. Old Time Hockey at its finest.

Who were the scariest players in NHL history?

The Daily Goal Horn answers that question for you here!

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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